Last month, West Suffolk College rose from 172 to ten in the rankings. This was down to their engagement levels across all social media channels improving; particularly on Twitter and Instagram. Danny Hewitt, Digital Marketing Officer at West Suffolk College, has compared their social media success to Leicester City coming back from the brink of relegation last season to be crowned 2016 champions, has revealed the inspirations around their posts. We caught up with him to find out more on the College’s success:
Hey Danny, first of all, congratulations on a great month social media wise. Where do you find the inspiration behind your social media post?
We have lots going on around the College and the main inspiration for a large number of posts is to drive people to apply for courses or come to an Open Event, so these posts will often have links in, leading to a specific course page on our website.
What would you say is the most important element to a social media post?
Photography. I’m a keen photographer and take a lot of photos to help promote the courses and the College as being a nice place to study. For example, we’ve got some lovely woodland called ‘The Copse’ which is beautiful on a sunny day with the gorgeous bluebells, tweeting birds and lush green grass – perfect for students to relax in. These kind of posts look nice, are friendly and non-spammy.
Which social media channel delivers you the most engagement?
Personally, I’d say Twitter. It’s a close one with Instagram too as the engagement there is growing. Instagram advertising which delivers a huge amount of engagement (and makes billboard and print advertising look mightily expensive!) and is very successful in encouraging more students to apply for courses.
What type of social media posting do you try to steer away from?
I often see a lot of Principals posting and trying too hard to act ‘cool’ but I feel it just looks obvious if you are not yourself. It’s important to have your own voice and for that voice to reflect the College you are a part of.
What advice would you give to a College who is trying to improve their social media?
It’s good to mix up posts to make sure that there is a nice variety, including posts with links going off to apply for a course, and more pictorial ones too. It’s important that posts are readable and understandable for a wide range of users. I’d say if a 14-year-old can read and understand a post, then it reads well.
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